BOOKS: The Second Chance Dog

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

The Second Chance Dog  by Jon Katz Ballantine Books (1745 Broadway,  New York,  NY 10019),  2013. 267 pages,  hardcover.  $25.00.

The Second Chance Dog may be the last of Jon Katz’ many successful dog stories written from Bedlam Farm in Hebron,  New York,  on the far side of a couple of hills from the original ANIMAL PEOPLE office near Shushan;  Katz in mid-2013 listed his renovated 1862 farmhouse and acreage for sale at $450,000.  Read more

BOOKS: Deerland: America’s Hunt for Ecological Balance & the Essence of Wilderness

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

Deerland:  America’s Hunt for Ecological Balance & the Essence of Wilderness  by Al Cambronne  •  Lyons Press (246 Goose Lane,  Guilford,  CT  06437),  2013.  263 pages,  paperback.  $18.95.

Opens Al Cambronne,  “We live in Deerland.  The U.S. now has over 30 million deer,  a hundred times more than a century ago.  They routinely disrupt entire ecosystems.  They ravage our gardens and suburban landscaping,  and every year they kill and injure hundreds of us on our highways…Still,  deer are magical.  Their mere existence makes the woods feel wilder.  They signify far more to us than just meat,  antlers,  or a graceful,  mysterious creature slipping through the shadows…We commute farther and borrow more so that we can live beside them.  If money remains,  we buy vacation homes where we’ll see even more of them.  A few of us happily spend two or three years’ salary for a small piece of untillable land on which we can hunt them…Regardless of how you may feel about hunting,  in many parts of America we now have a very real problem with too many deer.  In some of those places,  hunting is a big part of the solution.  It’s also,  some would argue,  a big part of the problem.” Read more

BOOKS: Unlikely Loves

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

Unlikely Loves by Jennifer S. Holland Workman Publishing (225 Varick St.,  9th floor,  New York,  NY  10014), 2013.   221 pages,  paperback.  $13.95.   

Jennifer Holland in Unlikely Loves follows up her 2011 best-seller Unlikely Friendships with 43 more amazing cross-species love stories,  including those of a stray cat named Arthur who befriended a dolphin named Thunder at the Theater of the Sea marine park in the Florida Keys,  and a giraffe named Camilla whose devoted companion at a sanctuary in South Africa is a kudu.        ––Debra J. White

Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

 Ignoring Nature No More:  The Case for Compassionate Conservation Edited by Marc Bekoff The University of Chicago Press,  Ltd.  (427 East 60th St.,  Chicago,  IL 60637), 2013. 456 pages.  Paperback $38.00.  Kindle $19.89.

When I was a child,  the Earth seemed huge and full of exciting places where wild animals roamed,  where as yet no human had set foot.  There were only three billion of us back then. Feeding us all seemed to be the main problem.   Read more

BOOKS— Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dog

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Devoted:  38 Extraordinary Tales of Love,  Loyalty and Life with Dog by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh National Geographic Society (1145 17th St. NW,  Washington,  DC  20036),   2013.  160 pages,  hardcover.  $19.95.

Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty and Life with Dog is as sweet and compelling as any book I have ever reviewed for Animal People about our unique relationship with dogs.  Author Rebecca Ascher-Walsh invites us into the lives of 38 outstanding dogs and their people,  and describes what makes them special.  The stories of Effie and Cheyenne are two examples. Read more

BOOKS—Rotten, by Michael Northrop

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Rotten   by Michael Northrop  Scholastic Books (,  2013.   256 pages,  hardcover.  $17.99.

As a child I was enthralled by dog stories,  including Eric Knight’s Lassie, Come Home,  Jack London’s Call of the Wild,  and the entire Albert Payson Terhune series of books about collies. My favorite dog stories were set in different places, but had in common dog protagonists whose comfortable bourgeois lives were disrupted,  pitching them,  alone,  into a cruel outer world.  On the surface,  the stories were mainly about dogs,  but the larger message concerned the positive personal attributes that dogs can demonstrate to people.  Read more

BOOKS—The Dog Who Danced

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson St. Martin’s Griffin (175 Fifth Ave.,  New York,  NY  10010),  2013. 328 pages,  paperback.  $14.99.

The Dog Who Danced is not just a novel about a dog,  though it centers on a lovable Sheltie named Mack.  It’s a drama about a woman’s desperation to find her lost dog,  with twists and turns that include family turmoil,  the sting of failed relationships,  a teen’s inability to cope with his mother’s unsettled lifestyle,  and a couple’s tragic loss of their only child.  Read more

BOOKS—Beautiful Old Dogs

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

Beautiful Old Dogs Edited by David Tabatsky,  with photos by Garry Gross St. Martin’s Press  (c/o MacMillan,  175 Fifth Avenue,  New York,  NY  10010),  2013. 144 pages,  hardcover.  $17.99.

Beautiful Old Dogs features photos by fashion photographer turned dog photographer Garry Gross (1937-2010),  matched with literary contributions by prominent dog-loving New Yorkers or former New Yorkers.  Most are contemporary,  including Anna Quindlen,  Ally Sheedy, Doris Day,  Dean Koontz,  and Marlo Thomas,  but the playwright Eugene O’Neill (1888-1953) is also represented,  celebrating the endearing qualities of aging pets. Read more

BOOKS—Loving Animals: Toward a New Animal Advocacy

From Animal People September 2013:

Loving Animals:  Toward a New Animal Advocacy   by Kathy Rudy University of Minnesota Press (111 Third Avenue South,  Suite 290,  Minneapolis, MN 55401),  2011.  260 pages hardcover,  $16.98.

Trained in theological ethics and women’s studies,  Kathy Rudy describes herself as neither an ethologist nor an animal behaviorist, but writes “It would not be an overstatement to say that most of the important and successful relationships I’ve had in my life have been with nonhuman animals.” Rudy posits that “you never really love [animals] in general.  You always love the particular.”  This directly contradicts the outlook of most of the “people who care about animals” who read ANIMAL PEOPLE,  many of whom helped to build the animal rights movement of the past several decades.   Read more

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